Rural Crime Innovation Challenge Leads to Development of Property Tracking Technology
The use of technology to help tackle the issue of rural crime was highlighted today, as the Minister Responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan Tina Beaudry-Mellor unveiled BeeSecure—a new tracking device and app that can help locate stolen property or alert owners about irregular activity.
BeeSecure was designed by Jeff Shirley, founder and chief executive officer of Rivercity Technology Services Ltd., as part of Innovation Saskatchewan‘s Rural Crime Innovation Challenge. The challenge was designed in collaboration with the Ministry of Corrections and Policing and focused on the use of technology as a solution to improve the safety and security of rural citizens and property.
“We have heard from many residents across the province who are concerned about the rise of crime, particularly in our rural communities where the closest neighbour may be miles away,” Beaudry-Mellor said. “We knew that someone in Saskatchewan would have the skills, talent and innovative vision to design a solution that would offer rural residents and farmers more security for their property, and we are pleased with the outcome of BeeSecure, through the Innovation Challenge.”
Following a 16-week residency program with the Ministry of Corrections and Policing, BeeSecure is currently being tested in the Rural Municipality of Mayfield, and the initial results are very promising.
“We are pleased with the platform the Innovation Challenge provided to develop a leading edge solution to help reduce rural crime for all Canadians,” Shirley said. “Through the partnership with the Ministry of Corrections and Policing, and with feedback from our law enforcement and rural municipality partners, we have helped create a solution that will contribute positively to tackling this issue in Saskatchewan.”
Over the summer, Innovation Saskatchewan will determine other areas that may be addressed through the Innovation Challenge.
The Innovation Challenge is a government initiative to engage the technology sector with helping identify and develop innovative solutions to everyday challenges in the province. Each challenge will seek to address a particular issue through technology, and will invite applications and proposed solutions from technology entrepreneurs, startups, students and academics. Upon evaluation of applications by a technical review panel, a winner will be selected. Winners will have four months to develop a prototype, which will go through a pilot-testing phase, supported by government. Successful solutions may be commercialized.